What to Look for in an SEO Provider
SEO Is Essential for Your Business
Around 90% of people only go through the first page of Google search results. What does this mean? It means if you can find an SEO company that knows what they’re doing, they have the potential to help your business reach new heights.
How to Find the Right SEO Company
Finding the best SEO company can be more complicated than it appears at first glance. The first page of Google is full of companies that claim to be the “best SEO company in x location.”
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a company that lives up to its promises and without breaking Google’s rules with bad SEO (which would ultimately hurt your business).
So here’s how you can find the right SEO firm for your business:
- Rather than relying on Google to make your pick, talk with your friends and business partners to find the best SEO firm.
- After you’ve narrowed down your choices, evaluate whether you’ve set clear goals.
- Next, create KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure those goals.
Choosing a firm that knows how to effectively communicate regarding your KPIs is crucial for a long-lasting and effective partnership.
The most important thing though is don’t mistake SEO for a buzzword. SEO is a process that can make or break your brand. So it’s essential to find the right SEO company. Let’s go into more detail about how to do that below:
1. SEO Is Not Easy
SEO is difficult, which means it’s often misunderstood. This misunderstanding can lead to less knowledgeable people talking about it in abstract terms – as if it’s magic. If anyone claims that they have a unique insight into Google’s algorithms, or if they heavily emphasize the mystique surrounding SEO, then they are probably not honest actors.
Good SEO practices require the following three things:
- In-depth knowledge of how the search engines function
- Attention to detail
- A willingness to adapt and make constant changes. This is necessary because Google’s algorithms shift on a near-weekly basis.
Also, taking shortcuts such as cloaking, purchasing links, and stuffing in keywords will result in search engines demoting your site. These techniques are known as Black Hat SEO and they violate the search engine’s rules. When Google’s bots learn that someone is utilizing these methods, they lower the website in the search rankings, decreasing the amount of organic traffic the website receives.
2. Layout Clear Goals and Choose a Firm That Can Help You Accomplish Them
First things first, don’t hire an SEO firm if your only goal is “increasing organic traffic.” Organic traffic can come in many different forms, so increasing it doesn’t automatically mean your revenue will increase. Ranking for unrelated search terms won’t do your business much good, either.
To avoid any unintended results, you and your team should plan out exactly what you’re looking to achieve with SEO. Here are some common goals:
- Do you want to boost your product sales by ranking for specific keywords?
- Or are you trying to reduce your website’s bounce rate and increase conversions?
- If it’s about increasing ad revenue, then would you prefer to have a wider audience or a more tight-knit community that spends more time (on average) on your website?
- Or perhaps you want to build your own social media following, create sponsored content, or engage in other activities that go beyond just SEO.
Regardless of which SEO firm you choose, be sure that you know what you’re looking for and the services you’ll need in order to succeed.
3. Find an SEO Firm That Aligns With Your Goals
After you’ve laid out your objectives and limited your choices to just a few firms, you’re almost there. You must ensure that the company you work with can clearly map out your progress along the way. In other words, what is your definitive end goal for ranking for those particular keywords?
Before settling on an SEO firm, it’s essential that you and the company are both on the same page with your KPIs. These metrics can be applied to nearly any part of your business. They can also refer to different aspects of SEO. For instance, a business with the latest product will have different goals than an older business with a more established customer base.
4. Prioritize the Right KPIs
Speaking of KPIs, they can go much further than is necessary. Basically, it’s easy to get lost in all that data if you don’t narrow down your focus. And you don’t want to waste time and resources tracking the wrong KPIs. Therefore, it’s essential that the SEO firm understands the most valuable metrics for your business and condenses the data into easily digestible information.
Here are some KPIs that are important for most businesses:
- Page loading times
- Website cleanliness (Google Bot crawling)
- Ranking of different keywords
- Conversion rates
- Organic traffic
5. Ensure That Your SEO Firm Is a Good Communicator
While you should have access to the same tools that they use to measure KPIs – Google Analytics, SEMRush, Google Search Console, etc., you still probably won’t have the time to analyze all available data. That is why you should work with an SEO specialist team you can trust and easily communicate with.
There is more to KPIs than that. Basically, there is an abundance of data that’s easily available to you, so it’s easy to get lost in it and waste time tracking the wrong KPIs. What this means is that it’s essential for your SEO firm to understand what metrics are most important for your business. That way, they can present that information to you in a way that’s easy to digest.
Remember that SEO is a long-term process, which means you could be working with this firm for many years. Even if you intend for the partnership to be a short or temporary thing, meeting your organic website traffic goals will still take patience, time, and a good working relationship.